100 Best Restaurants 2009: Blue Duck Tavern
No. 42: Blue Duck Tavern
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Rina Rapuano, Eve Zibart
Comments () | Published February 1, 2009
100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Blue Duck Tavern
Address: 1201 24th St., NW, Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-419-6755
Neighborhood: Foggy Bottom/West End, Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, Breakfast, American
Opening Hours: Open for breakfast Monday through Friday 6:30 to 10:30. Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30. Open for dinner daily 5:30 to 10:30. Open for brunch Saturday and Sunday 11 to 2:30.
Nearby Metro Stops: Foggy Bottom-GWU, Farragut West
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Business Attire
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Soft-shell crab; crispy sweetbreads; warm Swiss-chard pie; sturgeon rillettes with caviar; roasted chicken; pork weisswurst with red cabbage; short-rib hash and cinnamon-bun French toast (breakfast and brunch); house-made ice creams.
Price Details: Appetizers $8 to $18, entrées $18 to $32.

Cuisine: Rustic American cooking given an upscale gloss—nearly every farm that supplies the kitchen is named on a menu where roast chicken and apple pie share space with rillettes and roulades. Plates are meant to be passed around, as at a family dinner—one that’s about $65 a head.

Mood: The design of the hotel dining room is as severe as it gets—all glass walls and sharp angles—but everything else strives for a gather-around-the-hearth feel: Shaker quilts, Windsor benches, a row of apple pies cooling near the front door.

Best for: Dinner with meat-and-potatoes folks and adventurous palates alike; summer lunch by the fountain on the patio.

Best dishes: Smoky mackerel rillettes topped with shaved cucumber and crème fraîche and served with toasts; airy pumpkin custard with tangy pomegranate seeds; whatever terrine is on the menu, especially if it comes with foie gras pâté; saffron-scented fisherman’s stew; roasted chicken; rack of pork with apples (peaches in summer); crab cakes; macaroni and cheese; baked beans with rabbit confit; house-made ice creams, especially chocolate and strawberry.

Insider tips: Sides tend to be heavy—buttery carrots, duck-fat-fried French fries, bleu-cheesy grits. Eating at the bar here won’t get you any deals: The menu seems aimed at hotel guests willing to pay $25 for a burger and $15 for a martini.

Service:••

Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Expensive.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 02/01/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews